Mondays at The Whistling Elk

Wishing you a Happy New Year!…and reminding you that The Whistling Elk is

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK…for your shopping convenience.

Mondays from 10:00 am til 4 pm

Tuesday thru Sunday from 10:00 am til 5:30 pm

Mondays are especially good days to shop us – you can beat the weekend crowd and jazz up a dreary Monday by coming in for casually elegant home furnishings and accessories!

Lampe Berger
Casual Elegance at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ

At the Whistling Elk you will find all the finishing touches that make a house Your Home at affordable prices…accent furniture, lighting, artwork and mirrors!

 You will also find thoughtful gifts!  In addition to Lampe Berger Paris there is Bedford Cottage Throws, exquisite French Jewelry, Sloane Fine Teas and much more!  And don’t forget we sell Paint Couture…a fantastic choice for creating amazing furniture and cabinet finishes.

I have just returned from shopping for 2018…

There are lots of great new gift items, accent furniture, artwork, rugs and more!  It was so much fun finding great pieces for you!

So if you love a European style that is casually elegant you will love the shop.

So come by any day….and don’t forget MONDAYS!  Start your week off right with a visit to THE WHISTLING ELK.

 We are in our 28th Year in Chester of bringing your style, beauty and affordability!

25th Anniversary – A Walk Down Memory Lane with The Whistling Elk

It’s hard to believe that 25 years ago just about this time I was collecting merchandise in my garage in preparation to taking possession of my first shop location in Chester  on May 1st, 1990.  It has been a wonderful 25 years and I have hundreds of photos taken of the shop over the years.  So take a walk with me down M.E.M.O.R.Y.  L.A.N.E…

The first home of The Whistling Elk was at 9 Main Street, Chester.  I hung a lace ceiling in this shop…it had a really ugly ceiling and the lace really improved it but I still had to cut holes in the lace for the air conditioning vent… It was a small shop just three rooms in 800 square feet.  In those early days I remember that we sold a huge amount of silk flowers and vines.

The Whistling Elk
A Customer and I standing in the front room of the shop at 9 Main Street, Chester NJ in the early 90s.

Sadly, I don’t have a lot of pictures of the 9 Main Street Shop – this was before cell phone cameras…gosh I didn’t even have a computer then!!  This location had two entire walls of windows…no where to hang anything…hmmm that must have been tough for me!

Here’s a few more shots of The Whistling Elk at 9 Main Street.

Chester NJ
Looking out toward Main Street in the first Whistling Elk location at 9 Main Street
Chester NJ
The Whistling Elk 25 years ago

Below is a shot taken at a Showhouse that we were invited to participate in – early 90’s.  We painted Adirondack chairs for the pool area which was surrounded by a beautiful garden of rhododedrons…the chairs were painted a light blue to reflect the blue of the pool and had beautiful purple rhododendrons painted across the backs.  It was a pretty effect!

The Whistling Elk
Showhouse in Clinton – Pair of Adirondack Chairs Painted for the Pool Area

Two years after I opened The Whistling Elk 44 Main Street became available and I was able to secure that wonderful location.  44 Main Street was about double the size of the 9 Main Street shop.  This move entailed moving about 60 feet from the end of Main Street closer to the center of town.

I remember selling an iron canopy bed because someone drove by as we were walking the headboard down the street to the new shop.  We were selling a tremendous number of beautiful hand wrought iron beds at the time.  The iron beds were probably among the first larger pieces of furniture sold at The Whistling Elk.

Here’s a shot of the front of the 44 Main Street shop.  On this particular evening in 2009 we were hosting our Charity Evening.

The Whistling Elk
We rolled out the red carpet for the 2009 Charity Event
The Whistling Elk
our mantel at 44 main street decorated for Christmas 2009

 I remained at 44 Main Street for 21 years – it changed sizes a couple of times over that period going from 1800 to 3000 square feet.  During that time we sold oh-so-many furniture lines along with accessories, artwork and mirrors and lighting.  Many lines we still sell today.  Sadly,  some important vendors were lost due to the recession over the last 6 years.  We are always adding new lines though so things are never dull at The Whistling Elk!

We have participated in many showhouses over the years…here’s a Showhouse photo taken sometime in the 90’s at a showhouse  in Chester.  The room was a garden room..I think it was called “Holiday in Paradise”…as I recall the event was in December.

I used a mop and a bucket of watered down green paint to swab the walls of this room…I was going for a watered silk look.  The walls had cracks all over and I didn’t want to repair them so I used a feather to enhance and make them look like cracked marble.  This was my second showhouse but it was the first time I did a whole room.

I regret that I have no pictures of the beautiful showhouse that I did with Patty Fastook a few years later called Brookwood…in Montclair.  It was a spectacular room but somehow I lost the disk that housed the photos…*sigh*

Showhouse Chester NJ
A Showhouse on Main Street in Chester….I remember this was a garden room with a lovely fireplace…it was cozy and very pretty.

Here are some shots of some of the beautiful merchandise that flowed through the shop over the last 25 years….

sofas and upholstery at The Whistling Elk
JM Paquet Sofa and Ottoman 2005 – Sadly this company went out of business in 2008…I carried them for many years and they made the most beautiful sofas!
elegant home furnishings and accessories
This was another JMPaquet sofa….used in a styling photo for advertising the Elk…We still carry many of the merchandise lines shown in this photo from the year 2000.
The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ
This was one of several Showhouses that we have participated in over the last 25 years! This room was titled “My Sister’s Bedroom and the showhouse was in Lafayette, NJ.
The Whistling Elk Chester NJ
Vanity in “My Sister’s Bedroom” at the Lafayette Showhouse….one of several showhouses we participated in over the years.
The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ
This is the bedroom at 44 Main Street…the walls were the most beautiful shade of purple called “Bonne Nuit” or Good Night….we always had gorgeous bedding at the shop and still do!

and by contrast here is the bedroom at 50 Main Street Today!

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Below…our custom cabinetry model….a beautiful bookcase over cabinets with slider to hide the TV…we moved this piece from 44 Main Street and had it re-built into the 50 Main Street shop.

Custom Cabinetry at The Whistling Elk
Hancock & Moore Sofa and in the background our custom built in bookcase over cabinets. We have built  many custom pieces for customers over the years.

We had a lot of room at the 44 Main Street location so we had up to 9 sofas on the shop floor all the time…this is a beautiful Hancock and Moore sofa…and it looks beautiful in front the model of our custom cabinetry.  We still carry Hancock and Moore and Caracole sofas today although it is definitely harder to display them!  We are still creating beautiful custom bookcases and furniture for our customers today also.

Textillery Weavers at The Whistling Elk
Another gorgeous, made in America, sofa by hancock & moore…and a gorgeous Textillery throw…still carried today.
The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ
A beautiful Habersham buffet and the carpet is Loloi….gorgeous.

Ah! and PARIS…who could forget our fabulous shopping trip to Paris and Les Puces de St. Ouen….we brought back so many beautiful pieces for the shop!

I still dream about all the beautiful items we had to leave behind at the Paris Flea Markets because there just wasn’t a container large enough (or a wallet for that matter) to bring them all back to the shop…

Imported Photos 00022 Imported Photos 00078

The Whistling Elk
Early 19th Century Bronze Sconce – I brought back a pair of these from the Paris Flea Market

Then a little more than 2 years ago we moved again!  This time the move was about 20 feet into the building right next to our old location at 44 Main Street.

I feel very blessed that I still see customers today at the 50 Main Street location  who started shopping The Whistling Elk at the 9 Main Street store 25 years ago!!

Wow, that amazes me and I am so appreciative for the support of the community and also the whole state…and beyond!  Customers come from all over New Jersey as well as from New York, Pennsylvania and as far as California & Europe!  It even seems when people move they don’t forget you – they stop by and shop when they are back visiting…even when they have left the country!

Here are some shots of the 50 Main Street Location of The Whistling Elk…and I am not moving again!

Home decor and furnishings
The Whistliing Elk Chester NJ

You will still find lots and lots of amazing home accessories at the 50 Main Street shop!

The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ
A shot of 50 Main Street around Jan. 2013…

We still carry sofas….the Caracole line is one of our favorites with great quality and fair prices – although we don’t always have room on the shop floor for one.  This was one that we did squeeze in!

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Chester NJ furniture
Home Accessories at The Whistling Elk
The Whistling Elk
Jan 2013 – Just moved into 50 Main Street…
Artwork at The Whistling Elk
Lady in Red
La Vie Parisienne Jewelry
Spring flowers, Jewelry, Lovely Art
Artwork, Mirrors & Clocks
Artwork, Mirrors & Clocks

Over the years many merchandise lines have come and gone.  There are some some products that we have carried for a very long time.  Like Kennebunk Weavers (our famous throw blankets) – 25 years!  and Mark Roberts Fairies – 20 years and Lampe Berger – 17 years!  We still love them today!

chester nj
The Whistling
Elk Home Furnishings stocks beautiful throws
Lampe Berger at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ
Lampe Berger at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ
The Whistling Elk
Mark Roberts Peace on Earth Fairy – I think he is my all time favorite!

Our Paint Couture!™ line of furniture and cabinet paints and glazes is new for us…and have been a wonderful addition to The Whistling Elk along with our Paint Workshops.  Painted furniture though is something that has always graced the shop floor at The Whistling Elk…we were painting back in the 90’s when we opened!

Paint workshops
Paint Couture Products at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ

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I am also humbled by the 2007 Award the shop received – “one of 50 Stellar Stores – Nationwide from Home Accents Today Magazine.  That was an honor I never saw coming but it was sweet.  Here’s the link 50 Stellar Stores Nationwide in 2007      –  Here’s a little bit about that from the press release at the time…

“CHESTER SHOP NAMED ONE OF TOP 50 RETAIL STORES

Chester, New Jersey – The Whistling Elk has been named one of Home Accents Today’s “50 Retail Stars” by editors of the premier trade magazine for the home accents industry. The Retail Stars List recognizes enterprising home accents retailers who are experiencing success in their respective markets with innovative strategies and creative merchandising while maintaining a strong presence in their communities.”

Very cool for The Whistling Elk!!  One of my prouder moments!!

One thing is for sure…you will always find casual elegance at The Whistling Elk – It is interesting to me that in all this time I have never really changed my focus which was to provide “…distinctively different home furnishings and accessories…with an elegant European flair.”

Expect More of the Same Going Forward

and

Thank You So Much for 25 Wonderful Years!

It’s Snuggle Time at The Whistling Elk

Chester NJ
The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ for Beautiful and well priced bedding!

It’s getting to be that time of year when you want to snuggle in your bed!

I don’t know about you but there is something about this beautiful bedding that makes a bedroom soothing and peaceful…just what you want where you are going to sleep!

Bedding is an essential design element for the perfect bedroom.  In the Paris Boudoir at The Whistling Elk we have created that peaceful yet elegant look with our bedding.

Our cotton organdy embroidered drapes in the background add another dimension to the whole picture!  And of course a pretty crystal chandelier completes the picture!

bedding at the whistling elk
Just added another duvet to the bed…the ivory with the ruffle – one of my personal favorites…so pretty

When I snapped the first picture I was thinking the bed was finished…but decided to add another duvet…the ivory  with the ruffles at the foot of the bed…

Come in to The Whistling Elk and design your own bed.  The bedding is very well priced and you can create your own luxurious haven of comfort by layering the looks that work for you!

Our new bedding is so pretty….don’t you just want to jump into the middle and have a little nap?

So Lovely!

Paint is part of accessorizing a bookcase


This wall mounted bookcase is in my guest bedroom. It’s from Elden Collections. I have always loved the architectual feeling it brought to the room. Since i just finished painting the room Ben Moore Adagio i decided to give the bookcase a facelift. Since the room is going in a shabby chic direction i went with Decorator’s White advance semi gloss. This is a fairly new trim paint from ben moore that is water base but it paints on like oil base…love it and the finished product!

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Taking Freight in the Pouring Rain

I have been in the new shop location now for one month and yesterday i received my first large freight order…in the pouring rain with nowhere to conveniently take delivery. I must say you can get pretty innovative when you have too. But i do miss the basement at my old location. Sigh…

The arched mirror above is one of the large mirrors that came yesterday…its very shabby chic and looks great in the Paris Boudoir.

This one i had stashed away but since we sold a piece of art…it got a chance to hang on the wall. What a crime that i didnt hang it sooner…

Here’s another one that is now unpacked and leaning on top of a beautiful habersham console. It’s one of my favorite mirrors.

I went a little crazy with the distressing

well, i might be done…

The Whistling Elk painting with Annie Sloan Chalk PaintI did really go crazy with the distressing…but i think i like it!

I used a little of the gilding wax on the hardware and on the drawer front.

You can never have too much gold!

The Whistling Elk painting with Anne Sloan Chalk Paint

Ooophs – i just couldn’t resist painting the insides of the drawers with Henrietta – Annie Sloan Chalk Paint –

its the sweetest lavendar!

I love the little Fleur de Lis detail smack in the middle…

every time i open this little drawer i know it will make me smile – yes! I am definitely done with this piece!

It’s a Wine Cabinet Makeover

Remember that black wine cabinet that i posted…well the makeover is almost done!

painting with annie sloan chalk paint

First coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint…Louis Blue and Louis Blue mixed with Pure White.

I left the inside black….liking the contrast!

Later I’ll distress it…

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – the marathon continues

This little table had a dark wood top…it really had style with those cute legs so I decided to just paint the top with some Annie Sloan Pure White.

I left the legs the way they were – so here is the table with the Pure White on it.

Chaulk Paint
Table with Annie Sloan Pure White top

I waxed it with the clear wax and then applied a little dark wax then distressed it.

Last i hit it with some of the gilding wax then distressed it some more…

Now it has a whole new life!

Love it!

Small Painted Table – Annie Sloan Chaulk Paint

I also worked on this standing mirror…it had a lot of “design” potential!

chaulk paint

One of the reasons i selected this piece to paint was because of the beautiful wood carved crown at the top…

and the way this mirror resembled a “boiserie” panel…

The way i envisioned painting this piece i knew that its architecture would  be greatly enhanced by using two colors to create a contrast.

I knew that using an alternate color on the crown and on the inset panel would work beautifully

and that connecting them by hitting part of the molding with the contrast color would be very pleasing to the eye.

So, i decided to use Paris Grey and Pure White.

Here’s the crown with a little Paris Grey which i purposely slapped on so it didnt cover all the dark wood.

Later i put some Pure White sloppily over the Paris Grey – i didnt care about covering since i knew i would distress it heavily later.

Crown Top of Standing Mirror with Paris Grey coat of Annie Sloan Paint

Originally it was also part of my plan to highlight this piece with some gold wax accents.

  However, a customer came into the shop

while i was working on it and asked me not to put the gold on until she saw it finished with just the white and grey…

she thought it might work for her  just that way…so i will have to wait until tomorrow when she comes in to see whether it will go home with her sans gold wax..

Here it is BEFORE distressing…

Annie Sloan Chaulk Paint
Standing Mirror in Paris Grey and Pure White before distressing

I painted the body of the piece all Pure White then applied the Paris Grey over only the molding and on the inset.

I did that because i knew when i distressed it i would get the dark brown and the white thru the grey.

Paris Grey and Pure White
Annie Sloan Paint on Mirror before distressing

Here is the boiserie mirror after distressing…I am just dying to highlight it with gilding wax!

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Standing Mirror wearing Annie Sloan Chaulk Paint

Here’s some close ups of the details of the newly antique mirror!

Chaulk Paint
Standing Mirror Top Detail
Annie Sloan Paris Grey and Pure White

When i am painting i find myself working on a lot of projects at once…

if i have a can of paint open i generally use it on as many pieces as i can so i dont have to open/close the paint, clean the brush etc.

it may be that i am just lazy…. but i think its a good idea to use the paint on something else while the can is open…

so here’s a little mirror that i also worked on!

Chaulk Paint
Oval Mirror Before Annie Sloan Pure White

This distressed mirror was a brownish/cordovan kind of a color with some gold in the corners.

I just went ahead and coated the whole frame with Annie Sloan Pure White, Clear waxed it, distressed it and then

hit it with some of the gilding wax.

Annie Sloan Chaulk Paint
Oval Mirror Annie Sloan Pure White Chaulk Paint

Here it is all done and ready for me to put in Little Paris so perfect for my shabby chic shop!

The Annie Sloan Chaulk Paint has been a pleasure to work with and i am loving

all the new decor created…a very good product for interior design!

The Great Annie Sloan Paint Experiment

I decided to experiment with the Annie Sloan paints…

so i bought some Paris Grey and some Clear Wax and have been painting everything in sight for the last couple of days…

out in front of The Whistling Elk in the courtyard.

Painted furniture
Round Table Painted with Annie Sloan Paint

This is actually a before shot….

The bottom legs/skirt etc has  been coated with Annie Sloan “Paris Grey” while the top has an old coat of a beige tone benjamin moore paint on it.

Originally this table had a dark stain on it.  It has been hanging around for a while and was pretty beat up.

When i selected it to experiment with i thought it might be fun because when distressed it would show the dark stain thru the beige…and the Paris Grey.

Annie Sloan Paint

I also selected this table because it has nice detail for painting.  The top has a raised pattern to it around the edges which

is separated from the center by two circular grooves which i plan to gild. And, the little finial

at the bottom of the leg stretchers is screaming out for gold…

So with my design plan in my head and the brush in my hand, the Annie Sloan paint went on easily and covered well…waxing was easy too.

annie sloan paint
Painted Table with Fleur de Lis

After sanding the table and distressing it to the level i desired i painted a fleur de lis on top with some antique gold paint i had around

and also put the gold in the round grooves and on the outer edges of the table.

Then i waxed it again…

The next day I sanded it down again, distressing the gold paint and the fleur de lis.

I sanded some spots down to the very dark stain but decided i didnt like what i had so repainted/waxed some spots and re-distressed.

I actually really like the soft beige coming thru the Paris Grey.

I also decided not to distress to strongly overall as i liked the softness of the look.  So, when i was satisfied with what i had i  waxed it one last time.  The next day i buffed it out.

Annie Sloan Paint – Table and Chairs

I had these two upholstered chairs so i painted and distressed the chair legs to go with the table!

It was easy – paint, wax, sand/distress, wax….Voila!

So Very, Very Shabby Chic and perfect for  Little Paris!!

Painted Table and chairs

here’s what the chair legs looked like before…

Annie Sloan paint on chair legs

So the bottom line is that i am enjoying the whole process and having lots of fun with the Annie Sloan Paints!

Stay tuned because i hateto waste time so have been painting on other little projects which are coming along…

 Shabby Chic Sofa is sheer elegance

sofa
off white shabby chic sofa

Friday we got a new sofa for The Whistling Elk shop floor!

 Its very beautiful and comfortable and has that shabby chic appeal which means it also works for Little Paris.

It’s sheer elegance for your home!!

The main fabric is an off white and the decorative pillows have  embroidered designs in icey blue.

shabby chic pillow
pillow with embroidered design shabby chic

It’s simple and elegant – just what i like for good interior design and will work in either a formal or informal room. Perfect!

I set it up in the back of the shop near the custom cabinetry and my favorite picture of an elegant lady – just love her.

sofa custom cabinetry and lady picture
shabby chic sofa and elegant lady print

The sofa is grouped with a gold chenille swivel chair from Hancock and Moore ….

shabby chic sofa with mirrored cocktail table
sofa, chair, cocktail table

I love the way the mirrored cocktail table reflects all the color around it.  It adds a special elegance to the whole setting.

The sofa was worth waiting for….It was supposed to arrive around noon and instead showed up after 7:30 pm….

Sometimes in retail you have to have a very open schedule and be very, very patient!

Little iron details

Gee, the fall has really crept up on me! 

 Today I am sitting here (feeling too lazy to do much)  and  my toes are cold!  I should probably move some furniture….but no instead i am thinking about the last few months and planning for the next few…

 and I realized that Little Paris

has been open over a month now and I havent posted a blog since it opened!

We are starting to get in all the fall goodies and holiday merchandise…the other day i unwrapped this little gem

 

 

It really is the little things…this simple scrolly iron ornament is great over a doorway or a bed.

  And, I love putting them over pictures too! 

 I particularly  love this one because it is only $39 and it’s like a fashion accessory – it will jazz up anything

 you put it with.   I always order a lot of them because it is so popular and i hate to be without it!

I love to paint them too – the one above comes in a rust but it would be pretty gilded.

This next one comes in white….shabby chic white…but i got the gold fever and gilded it!

It’s only $36 and that is a bargain for all the good looks you get out of it!

 

 

I want to move into my little Paris Apartment…

The bedroom portion of the Paris Apartment room is almost complete.  I finished the window treatments last night. 

 The cornice box is made of cardboard and painted with a white texture paint.  I love the light feeling of this room!

These pastel vases are so pretty!

  I would love to put them on my vanity.

Compassion….

Shabby chic shutters speak to casual elegance

Old shutters and doors look fabulous to me…whether you just lean them somewhere or nail them to the wall – like i did in my bedroom!  (I’m all for easy installation).  These are just “leanin” in the shop right now! 

They are such a great color…very shabby chic and rustic (actually the more beat up they are the better i like them) These could work in a formal setting too.  Just love their ambience and style.  

These would be swell in the Paris Boudoir or the Paris Apartment in our new “Little Paris”….but sigh…we wont be open til September…and they are here now.